I've been playing with Twitter over the weekend. Twitter, for those who don't know, can be viewed as SMS meets blogging (i.e., microposts on current or daily activities). The Sunday New York Times had an article on Twitter and Twittervision, a Google maps mashup with Twitter that shows near real-time Twitter posts around the world.
I haven't internalized the social ramifications of Twitter yet. My first reaction was "yet another time waster," but then I thought about geolocation, social networks and the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. Viral networking has profoundly changed how a new generation shares information, obviating email and many other, time delayed sources.
In the wake of last week's events, many universities have been discussing mechanisms to communicate quickly with students, staff and faculty during an emergency. The generational gap is often obvious, with extended discussion of emergency sirens, telephone trees and radio alerts. They have their place, but Facebook, MySpace, SMS and Wikipedia are the media of choice. Twitter may join the list.
This is RENCIDan, signing off.
The April 30, 2007 New York Times has an interesting article on the shift of social networking from situated desktops and laptops to mobile phones. Twitter is one example of this.